The Checker Maven

Oldies But Goodies

Having completed republication of the introductory section to Willie Ryan's classic Tricks Traps & Shots of the Checkerboard, this month we swing into the main part of the book: a compendium of situations both famous and not-so-famous. Today, we present two classics which you've most probably seen before. If so, you'll have no trouble solving them.... right?

Here's Willie in his own words.

Don Canalejas' Cannonball

Almost 300 years ago, a Spanish mathematician, Don Canalejas, pointed out the most famous of all booby traps, a five-move demoralizer. This is the first pitfall the student should learn to avoid. Set the pieces up for play. Then move 11-16, 23-18, 16-20, 24-19, 8-11---A, forming the position on the adjoining diagram.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W18,19,21,22,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32:B1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,20.

The Fool's Trap

Another premature opening procedure, which frequently embarrasses the beginner before he gets half started, is the Fool's Trap, another five-move paralyzer second in importance to Canalejas' Stroke. Set the pieces up for play. Then move 10-15, 23-19, 6-10, 22-17, 11-16---A, and we arrive at the situation shown in the diagram.

BLACK

WHITE
White to Play and Win

W:W17,19,21,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32:B1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10,12,15,16.

In each problem, find the winning move for White, and correct Black's play at A. Click on Read More to check your solutions.



Solutions

Don Canalejas' Cannonball

Continue: 19-15, 10-19, 18-14, 9-18, 22-8, 4-11, 27-24, 20-27, 31-8; white wins. The correct move at A is 10-14.

The Fool's Trap

White now ends it all by 17-13, 16-23, 13-6, 2-9, 27-2; white wins. Instead of 11-16 at A, Black should play 1-6 to draw.

01/21/06 - Category: Problems - Printer friendly version
You can email the Webmaster with comments on this article.